There are many reasons why we decided to start a webpage and blog about our unique beekeeping experiences. Generally speaking, a vast number of people around the globe are intrigued with honeybees. Those who discover that we are beekeepers are oftentimes curious enough to ask questions. And the question that I hear often is, “why beekeeping?”. So for my first blog post, I thought it would be appropriate to share why I got into beekeeping.
My first direct exposure to honeybees started at my Grandparents’ farm in northwestern Missouri where Granddad kept bees for a period of time. I was fascinated with honeybees and their innate ability to build such beautiful and tasty comb-filled honey. Granddad didn’t have an extractor or a crush and strain system; instead, he harvested comb honey, and that’s how it was stored and consumed. At the time, I didn’t know any different. Today, I find it interesting (and a little disturbing) that even though comb honey (honey that is sealed in its natural comb) is in its purist state; it is also the most difficult to find in stores. And much of the honey that you find in stores, at least in the United States, has been heated and filtered to make it appear more presentable and prolong crystallization (a natural process that raw honey undergoes).
When we left the Midwest and decided to make New Mexico home, it was time to think about how I was going to merge what I knew about Midwest beekeeping and apply that knowledge to a semiarid mountainous region where temperature fluctuations can be extreme and the growing season shortened. It was evident that there were going to be many learning curves. Within a year, we took on the challenge of beekeeping at 7,000 feet in elevation and successfully overwintered two colonies. It was that pivotal moment when I realized that I wanted to continue to make observations, log data, and document our beekeeping experiences.
Even though passion was probably the driving force behind launching our webpage, being asked, “why beekeeping?” made us realize that we are doing something special within our own micro-climate. We felt compelled to share our beekeeping experiences, both good and bad, in hopes that we could be an asset to the local and greater beekeeping community. Furthermore, the often posed question helped us define our mission and vision statement. Even though we are humbled by your support, we especially want to thank you for asking us the deeper question, “why beekeeping?”.
I hold a Master of Science degree in Education. And while I can be a bit of an isolationist, I do believe in sharing knowledge and encouraging people to live quality lives. When not working on the ranch, I enjoy RVing, hiking, woodworking, organic farming, and traveling. My passion is self-sustainability, rural living, and being in nature.